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24 May 2003, 06:32 pm
Day One
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Bell Lawrie Scottish Series
Loch Fyne, Scotland

Wet and windy conditions greeted the 119 crews participating in the Bell Lawrie Sccotish Series' opening feeder races to Tarbert from the twin start lines of Gourock on the Clyde and Bangor, Northern Ireland on Friday night.
Southerly winds gusting up to 30 knots and big, breaking seas tested crews throughout the night, but, as ever the winds abated to become light and shifty this morning, compressing many classes for the final few miles in to Tarbert.

Classes 1 and 2 raced a 72 mile course which turned north to Tarbert at DZ, while the other Gourock starters missed out a dog leg after DZ to sail a 67 mile race.

Many competitors reported difficulty trying to find southerly turning mark, DZ, off the Heads of Ayr. First to find the mark and turn was Playing FTSE owned by John Anderson and previous three times winner of the Scottish Series.

The Ker 11.3 Blue Belle (Hamish MacKay) was first of the 89 Gourock starters to break the finish line just 16 seconds ahead of Desperado with whom they had a fierce battle over the last mile to the finish line as the breeze dropped back to just 6-8 knots.

Blue Belle lifted the Tarbert Shield for the first boat home, crossing the finish line at 04:53.26 this morning. Bidding to win the Bell Lawrie Scottish Series - the regatta's top award - for a record three times back to back, MacKay and team scored a useful third place.

While the veteran Swan 64 Desperado went on to win Class 1 with Titch Blachford, Owen Parker and owner Richard Loftus calling the shots and making, repeating their offshore race win on last year, a Swan also won class 2.

Arran brothers Ian and Graham Thomson guided their Swan 40 to victory in Class 2, while John Corson got the better of a close tussle in Class 3 in the Elan 332 Salamander XVI.
One early victim of the conditions was the far travelled French Class 2 Jeanneau SunFast 40 of Bernard Gouy Inis Mor.

Having sailed all over the north of Europe at international regattas and recently been delivered from Brittany a rigging failure brought Inis Mor's mast down during the night.

The dismasting was believed to have been the result of problem which required a product recall for many Jeanneau and Beneteau craft some four years ago, but which was overlooked by the boat's owner.

The number of entries for this year's Bell Lawrie Scottish Series is significantly up with over 200 yachts having congregated in Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Results
Feeder Race from Gourock
IRC Class 1
1 Desperado (R Loftus) 10hrs 49mins 26secs, 2 Playing FTSE (J Anderson)10:57.21, 3 Blue Belle (H MacKay) 11:04.02
IRC Class 2
1 Sloop John T (I & J Thomson) 11hrs 32mins 56secs, 2 Sanguma (Walmsley/Thoms) 11:43.21, Animula (D Grant) 11:46.52
IRC Class 3
1 Salamander XVI (J Corson) 11hrs 8mins 43secs, 2 Tundra (D Sharp) 11:13:02, 3 Fortitude (S Allister) 11:13.08
IRC Class 4
1 Vaila (P Watt) 10hrs 42mins 37secs, 2 Blue Berret Pi 10:55.07, 3 Jezebel (P&S Howell) 10:55:34
CYCA Class 5
1 Scanne (G Aikman) 8hrs 35mins 31secs, 2 Border Reiver (Scott/Wilson) 8:52.44, 3 Swedish Lady (I Harris) 8:55.55
CYC Class 6
1 Ailish II (W Malone) 8hrs 59mins 07secs, 2 Lindisfarne II (J Pearson) 9:10:06, 3 Mosika Alma (M Goodwin) 9:16.57
Sigma 33 Class
1 Sigmatic (D Mclaren) 5hr 22mins 15secs, 2 Odyssey (H Hood) 5:23.00, 3 Pepsi (A Milton) 5:23.45
Feeder Race from Bangor
IRC Class 1
1 Azure (B&B Stewart) 11hrs 18mins 49secs, 2 Nimmo (J Kileen) 12:11:56, 3 Cracklin'Rosie (R Dickson) 12:12.17
IRC Class 2
1 Jacana (B Douglas) 11hrs 24mins 17secs, 2 Tiger (T Oliver Sheehy) 11:52.50, 3 Aztec (P Beamish) 11:53.37
IRC Class 3
1 Avocet (J Thompson) 11hrs 31mins 6secs, 2 Wild Child (B Linehan) 11:38.03, 3 Eau Vation Bleu (R Killops) 12:25.28
IRC Class 4
1 Rapparee (Hyde/Boulter/Woods) 11hrs 41mins 1secs, 2 Thirty Something (McDonnell/Hall) 12:05.57, 3 Tigger (Cassidy /Markey) 12:14.12
CYCA Restricted Class 8
1 Blue Squirrel (Taylor/Furney/O'Shea) 10hrs 3mins 14secs, 2 Enigma (Adair/Johnston/Jordon) 10:17.00
Andi Robertson
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